David Lee Murphy Speaks out on Kenny Chesney's Death in Family

David Lee Murphy spoke out about the loss in Kenny Chesney's family, after Chesney unexpectedly bowed out of the CMA Awards ceremony only hours before the two were scheduled to take the stage.

Murphy, who won a CMA Award for Musical Event of the Year with Chesney for their collaboration on "Everything's Gonna Be Alright," from Murphy's recent No Zip Code album, had kind words for his friend and duet partner.

"Nobody knows how songs end up being perceived in the long run," Murphy shared backstage at the CMA Awards. "But I'm just so happy to be here tonight to get this award and I wish Kenny was with me here. Course he's had a loss in his family, and he's where he should be with his family, but we're thinking about him. I'm so happy. He texted me. He was one of the first people that let me know that we won this this morning. It's just been a really fun day. "

Having Chesney tell Murphy that they won was especially meaningful for Murphy since their collaboration marked not only his first CMA Awards win, but his first CMA Awards nomination as well.

"He just said, 'Brother, we won it,'" Murphy recalled. "It was really special because we have put a lot of time into this record. He had me on his [Trip Around the Sun] tour this summer, and he spent a lot of time in the studio with me. It was just really special that he believed in this record. And it made me really happy that we got this award for that reason because he really put his belief in it. We worked hard for it, so it was really cool."

Even with Chesney's absence, Murphy is still grateful for his time at the CMA Awards this year, if only for the chance to connect with so many of his friends.

"I mean it's almost cliché to say that it's like a big family reunion," Murphy said. "It's a family tradition, however you wanna say it. But it's fun for me to see people that I know, and that I listen to. I saw Joe Diffie, and Ricky Skaggs, and Marty Stuart, and Garth [Brooks], and sat next to Martina McBride in the show, and Lionel Richie's in front of me, and Luke Bryan's right there, and FGL's behind me. It's just really fun."

"And then a lot of the newer guys that are just coming along that I've worked with, and written songs with," he continued. "It's really special 'cause everybody knows everybody and works together, and has worked together on the road. So nights like this are fun for everybody 'cause we just get to hang out, and just kind of relax, and be together."

Chesney may not have been able to attend the CMA Awards, but he did share his thoughts on their joint win.

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“David Lee is so singular, I’d hear his demos and think, ‘People need to hear this voice, and his perspective,’” Chesney said in a statement. “I couldn’t be happier to see him win his first CMA Award. We’ve sung this song all over America this year, and I’ve seen the way stadiums full of people respond. Every night when he’d walk out, they’d cheer – and when the chorus came along, it was something they wanted to sing with us.”

Photo Credit: Jill Trunnell